Research Groups

Michael Hiller

Scientific Career

since 2018
Senior Research Group Leader, jointly at the MPI-CBG and the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden

Research Group Leader, jointly at the MPI-CBG and the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden

Postdoctoral work at Stanford University, Department of Developmental Biology, USA

Postdoctoral work at University of Freiburg, Bioinformatics Group, Germany

PhD in Bioinformatics, University of Jena and University of Freiburg, Germany


Young Investigator, Technical University Dresden

German Life Science Award

Long-term Postdoc Fellowship from the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP)

Postdoc fellowship from the German Research Foundation

Selected publications

Huelsmann M, Hecker N, Springer MS, Gatesy J, Sharma V, Hiller M #. Genes lost during the transition from land to water in cetaceans highlight genomic changes associated with aquatic adaptations. Science Adv, 5(9), eaaw6671, 2019
some press: New York Times, Science News, Discover Magazine, Smithsonian, Daily Herald, German Radio
F1000 recommended

Hecker N, Sharma V, Hiller M #. Convergent gene losses illuminate metabolic and physiological changes in herbivores and carnivores. PNAS, 116(8), 3036-3041, 2019

Roscito JG, Sameith K, Parra G, Langer BE, Petzold A, Moebius C, Bickle M, Rodrigues MT, Hiller M #. Phenotype loss is associated with widespread divergence of the gene regulatory landscape in evolution. Nature Communications, 9:4737, 2018

Jebb D, Hiller M #. Recurrent loss of HMGCS2 shows that ketogenesis is not essential for the evolution of large mammalian brains. Elife, 7, e38906, 2018

Lee JH, Lewis KM, Moural TW, Kirilenko B, Bogdanova B, Prange G, Koessl M, Huggenberger S, Kang C, and Hiller M #. Molecular parallelism in fast-twitch muscle proteins in echolocating mammals. Science Adv, 4(9), eaat9660, 2018

Sharma V, Lehmann T, Stuckas H, Funke L, and Hiller M #. Loss of RXFP2 and INSL3 genes in Afrotheria shows that testicular descent is the ancestral condition in placental mammals. PLoS Biology 16(6), e2005293, 2018
some Press: New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, Inside Science, Scienmag

Sharma V, Hecker N, Roscito JG, Foerster L, Langer BE, and Hiller M #. A genomics approach reveals insights into the importance of gene losses for mammalian adaptations. Nature Communications, 9(1), 1215, 2018

Nowoshilow S, Schloissnig S #, Fei JF, Dahl A, Pang AWC, Pippel M, Winkler S, Hastie AR, Young G, Roscito JG, Falcon F, Knapp D, Powell S, Cruz A, Cao H, Habermann B, Hiller M #, Tanaka EM #, Myers E. The axolotl genome and the evolution of key tissue formation regulators. Nature, 554(7690), 50-55, 2018.

Prudent X, Parra G, Schwede P, Roscito JG, Hiller M #. Controlling for phylogenetic relatedness and evolutionary rates improves the discovery of associations between species’ phenotypic and genomic differences. Mol Biol Evol, 33(8), 2135-5, 2016.
See also MBE News.

Hiller M, Schaar BT, Indjeian VB, Kingsley DM, Hagey LR, and Bejerano G. (2012): A “forward genomics” approach links genotype to phenotype using independent phenotypic losses among related species. Cell Reports, 2(4), 817-823. Read more on F1000

Popular Science

Hiller M. Forward Genomics – ein neuer Ansatz der vergleichenden Sequenzanalyse. Biologie in unserer Zeit, 43(1), 34–39, 2013 (in German)

Platzer M, Hiller M, Huse K, Szafranski K, Hampe J, Backofen R, and Schreiber S. Die Variabilität der Plastizität - Proteinvielfalt durch subtiles alternatives Spleißen an NAGNAG-Motiven. GenomXpress, Nr. 1/06, 4-6, 2006 (in German)

Platzer M, Huse K, and Hiller M. Alternatives Spleißen an NAGNAG-Motiven: kleine Ursache - große Protein-Vielfalt. Biologie In Unserer Zeit, 35(2), 80-82, 2005 (in German)


In addition to generous funding from the Max Planck Society, our research is supported by